Prince Harry Needs New ‘Minimalist’ Approach to Lawsuits

Prince Harry should adopt a more “minimalist approach” when it comes to his media lawsuits, focusing not on wide-ranging claims but on their strongest elements to achieve a desired outcome, Newsweek‘s chief royal correspondent told a TV interviewer.

On Tuesday, a High Court judge ruled that Harry could not expand his unlawful information-gathering lawsuit claims against Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers (NGN) to include new complaints against the Australian media mogul himself.

Judge Timothy Fancourt said Harry’s legal team appeared to be trying to widen his claim to pursue “trophy targets” and denied his request to add backdated claims from 1994, 1995 and 2016.

The judge did grant some of the prince’s team’s requests for amendments to the lawsuit. But he said that in order for his case to move forward on particular points, the team needed to comply with a July 2023 order, removing certain elements and clarifying others.

The case is expected to go to trial in 2025. NGN has denied a number of Harry’s claims.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry is pictured in Nigeria on May 10. The prince is suing News Group Newspapers over allegations of unlawful information gathering.

Andrew Esiebo/Getty Images for The Archewell Foundation

Discussing the recent legal developments in Harry’s battle against Murdoch’s media empire, Newsweek‘s chief royal correspondent, Jack Royston, told Sky News that he would benefit from turning his attention to the strongest claims instead of taking a more generalized viewpoint.

“Harry really does need with this particular case to realize in general, in a much broader way, that he isn’t going to get everything he wants,” Royston told Sky News anchor Kay Burley on Wednesday. “The amounts of money on the line if he loses are astronomical.”

Newsweek reached out to Harry’s representatives via email for comment.

Harry is facing increased financial pressure with his ongoing legal cases. In addition to suing NGN, the prince is pursuing claims against Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers Limited for similar unlawful information-gathering claims.

The prince’s legal team has also stated its intention to appeal a judgment, handed down earlier this year, denying his claim that the U.K. Home Office acted illegally in 2020 when it removed his full-time, state-funded bodyguards after he stepped down as a working royal and moved to the U.S.

Regarding his media lawsuits, Royston told Burley that he believes simplicity is the key to proving Harry’s point.

“So I think my personal view is he should start taking a much more minimalist approach to these cases,” he said. “Stop going for the biggest guns you can find and start actually crunching them down to their strongest elements.”

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek‘s royal reporter, based in London. You can find him on X (formerly Twitter) at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek‘s The Royals Facebook page.

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